Australian Traveller’s Quentin Long travelled to Mission Beach with his own mission in mind: attend the opening of a new luxury resort, and see Grace Jones without his brain exploding.
Keeping up with the Joneses
AT’s Quentin Long travelled to Mission Beach with his own mission in mind: attend the opening of a new luxury resort, and see Grace Jones without his brain exploding.
The Elandra’s opening has to be one of the most over-the-top and surreal experiences of AT’s life; a palm tree-enclosed pool deck in a small resort in a sleepy tropical village hosting 400 locals and minor Sydney/Melbourne celebs for an intimate concert with one of the world’s most recognisable divas. That’s surreal.
Not since Sinatra cut the ribbon for the Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove has a resort opening produced such a “wonder event” to announce they’re open for business.
In contrast to Sanctuary Cove, the Elandra has just 55 rooms – so flying out the ultra crazy diva Grace Jones seemed a little excessive.
Jones’ reputation had definitely preceded her, with the media reporting some of her in-character demands that were to be met, like a 24-hour limo for her weeklong stay on Mission Beach. (Although AT would like to know where the hell she could possibly want to go?)
Jones was contracted for a total of four songs at a total coast to the Elandra owners of $300,000 . . . and she delivered exactly that – four songs in a half-hour set of her unique style.
She had four costume changes, screamed obscenities mixed with overtones of devotion to the locals, and strutted her stuff.
It was energetic, colourful, even musical and magic.
Her own interpretation of “La Vie En Rose” wasn’t as intelligible as Edith Piaf’s but she absolutely owned “Pull Up to my Bumper, Baby” . . . Well, she would, wouldn’t she?
The crowd lapped it up and responded wholeheartedly when she signed off with a big, “F#@k you, let’s party!”
Jones then retired with her entourage of family to a private party and some media interviews.
Meanwhile, the party continued – although the bar service had to be suspended for ten minutes while a minivan was dispatched to the local bottle shop to restock the now empty fridges.
It had it all. Sleepy Mission beach hosted the craziest of divas for a night where all the locals were invited, along with a sprinkling of Sydney and Melbourne personalities.
And the resort itself? Click here for AT’s Elandra Preview.